Toronto drag queen Jade Elektra brought down the house at the 2019 Toronto AIDS Vigil with her live performance of a Nat King Cole classic. As reported by author and activist Mark S. King at LGBTQ Nation, Jade changed the title word ‘Unforgettable’ to ‘Undetectable.’ Her performance encapsulated the U=U message perfectly.
Jade Elektra, when not performing, is HIV positive activist Alphonso King, Jr.
He spoke to Mark S. King about the performance.
“It started as a joke with my husband.
“I started singing it and decided to say ‘undetectable’ instead.
“It wasn’t until he insisted that I sing it for an upcoming show that I realized that the original lyrics worked on a different level with the word change.
“In our sensitive time of political correctness, I definitely did not want to offend anyone.
“But they really wanted that song. So I said yes.”
“Looking out over all those faces was amazing.
“And hearing their reaction to the first word was magical!
“My fear melted away and it was on to channelling Marilyn Monroe as much as possible.
“Because after all, I may be HIV positive but Jade is a sexual being and unapologetic about it.
“I hadn’t decided what I was going to say in the instrumental break so I just let what came to mind come out.”
Jade spoke from the heart during the song’s instrumental bridge.
You know, for people who are living with HIV, we finally have the science to back up what I kind of knew about a decade ago.
That “undetectable” means you are “untransmittable.”
And hopefully, this will help us fight the stigma associated with being positive.”
U = U
The founder of Prevention Access Campaign which began the U=U movement, Bruce Richman, witnessed the performance.
He told Mark S. King, “I had tears in my eyes when I saw her perform with such a gorgeous, mesmerizing voice, such pride in who she is, and the powerful clear message.”
Video from Gord Asmus
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